Broncos solve shootout again

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Glenn Gawdin scored the shootout winner to defeat the Brandon Wheat Kings

Glenn Gawdin

The Swift Current Broncos won another shootout game with a 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings Sunday. The Broncos have now earned nine of a possible 10 points in their past five games to pull within five points of the Regina Pats for the East Division lead. They opened the year with just one shootout win in their first seven attempts but have now won their past two shootouts.

The Broncos twice tied the game and eventually took the lead before a couple unfortunate bounces led to the tying goal for Brandon with a 2:39 left in regulation.

Coda Gordon and Glenn Gawdin both scored in the shootout, while Eetu Laurikainen stopped Braylon Shmyr and Richard Nejezchleb to clinch the win. Gawdin, 16, ended his second straight shootout game when he deked to his right and fired the puck past Jordan Papirny.

Playing their third game in as many days, the Broncos fell behind twice in the second period but got goals from Andrew Johnson and Jay Merkley to tie the game each time. Johnson put the Broncos in the lead with his 10th goal of the season late in the second period when he kept the puck on a long two-on-one and squeezed it through the glove side Papirny.

Jayce Hawryluk tied the game for Brandon in the third period when he banked in a puck from below the goalline after an official had got in the way of the Broncos to allow Brandon to get the puck in the first place.

“It was good,” said Johnson after the game. “I think it was a complete 60-minute effort. They got some bounces on their goals but we stuck to the plan for 65 minutes plus the shootout as well.”

Laurikainen improved to 22-19-1-5 with 25 saves. Papirny dropped to 19-12-4-3 with 36 saves before allowing two goals on three shootout attempts.

“Yeah it was huge,” said defenseman Jordan Harris. “We came out strong. The D were struggling a bit at the start but after the 10-minute mark in the first period we puled things together back there. The guys bought into the system tonight and doing whatever it takes to get pucks out and get pucks in and get shots on net, so yeah it was a huge win.”

Swift Current remains sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-24-3-6 record.

Brandon sits four points back with a 31-26-6-3 record.

The Broncos have one day off to rest before hosting the Eastern Conference leading Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday in their fifth game in seven days.

“Edmonton is going to come in here on Tuesday and they are always going to be a tough game for us. We have to be at the top of our game for that,” said Harris.

Organizations: Brandon Wheat Kings, East Division, Swift Current Broncos WHL Edmonton Oil KIngs

Geographic location: Swift Current

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